When you’re a poor rebel faction fighting a rich and powerful dictator, I’m sure you’ll take just about all the help you get. In the Free Syrian Army’s case, they’ve been armed with basic mortars that are missing one critical feature – sights to aim at their target.
As a quick fix, some of the Syrian rebels have been seen using the iPad’s accelerometer combined with a level app to aim and launch mortars, as seen in Reuters photo above. By using a level to calculate the exact number of degrees the mortar is leaning, the rebels hope their high-tech targeting scope will give them a fighting chance, but Business Insider’s Paul Szoldra - who served in the 81mm Mortar Platoon and instructed new mortarmen while serving in the U.S. Marine Corps from 2002 to 2010 – explains everything that’s wrong in the picture above:
There are some truly awful things happening in Syria right now. For more information on exactly what is happening, and why, I suggest this excellent Washington Post round-up of what exactly is going on, and why Congress is now considering an intervention. But the takeaway is pretty bleak, and basically comes down to the notion that there’s not a lot America can do to stop what’s happening in Syria.
That doesn’t mean, though, that the hearings going on in the Senate about whether or not America should intervene aren’t important. Far from it. Which is why Senator John McCain is getting a lot of flack for being caught playing an iPhone poker app during the hearings.
Syrian are no longer allowed to use Apple’s iPhone after authorities banned the popular device this week in a bid to stop activists from documenting government violence. Following the move, Steve Jobs’s biological father, John Jandali, announced his support for the Syrian people on YouTube.